What is your 30-second elevator pitch for Don’t Mention the Rock Star?
Celebrity reporter is hiding the fact her first boyfriend is now a rock star. Rock star returns years later, wanting to reclaim his first love. … Do you mind pushing the button for the tenth floor? Thank you.
Which song best sums up the story?
Still Into You by Paramore sums it up pretty well. As much as Kellie tries to deny it, she can’t ignore her attraction towards Andy, even all these years later. Just like Hayley Williams sings: “After all this time I’m still into you.” Because Andy is a musician, and part of the story is set back in the mid-90s, there are several songs referenced throughout, from Queen and John Lennon to MC Hammer. There is a YouTube soundtrack on my website.
Who is your favourite character in the book?
I love Andy, of course, because for all his faults, he is so loyal. And because he went from skinny runt to sexy rock star right before our eyes. But Lenny and his cringeworthy antics definitely made me chuckle the most. I’m sure everyone has worked with someone like him, the guy who tries to make himself the life and soul of the party but fails miserably. Lenny essentially becomes a sort of father figure to Kellie.
What do you think of the chick lit label?
To be honest, I don’t mind it at all. But then I do run a website called Chicklit Club, so it would be kind of hypocritical to be offended by the term. I understand why some people don’t like it but to me it’s just a simple way to categorise a novel. It’s a marketing term, a shorthand way to tell me it’s a story about an ordinary woman facing some of life’s challenges. It works both ways too. I am a chick lit reader so when I flick through book catalogues, I skim straight over anything labelled ‘literary fiction’. Not for the want of people trying, no one seems to have come up with a better label yet.
Who have been your rock star crushes?
Back in the 70s I thought the construction worker from the Village People was pretty darn cute (what was I thinking?). Then Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran came on to my radar, singing Planet Earth, and he was my infatuation throughout my teenage years. I may or may not have carried around a tatty photo of the band as my lucky charm for all my exams. Then I progressed to Robbie Williams in his post-Take That days, and now it’s Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day. There is a guyliner scene and a blue hair moment in the book dedicated to him.
When did you realise you wanted to be a writer?
I didn’t! I wasn’t one of those people who believed there was a book inside everyone. So wanting to write this story actually hit me out of the blue. One day I had a cool idea for a novel – and thought why not have a crack at writing it. It was about the mean girls of blogging - a subject I follow online with immense interest! Then the story of Kellie and Andy came through even louder and forced me to write that instead. It was an incredible challenge – and I definitely think I’ve now been bitten by the writing bug. But if we’re talking about writing in general, not just fiction, then I knew I wanted to be a journalist from the age of 11, when I watched a TV show about a female sports journalist. Getting paid to watch sport all day – what heaven was this?!
What's the best advice you've had about marketing your book?
Do something every day to promote your book. Build your platform before you start writing it - luckily for me I had the Chicklit Club network to back me up. And the best way to get a burst of sales is to publish the next book.
Which celebrity would you most like to see write a novel?
It probably would be easier to answer which celebrity would you most NOT want to write a novel. There have been scant examples of success in this field. Hmmm, let’s think hard here … I reckon Oprah should add it to her bucket list.
ABOUT THE BOOK
They fell in love in an instant … so why have they spent a lifetime apart?
As a teenager Kellie dated an American boy but circumstances meant they went their separate ways. Now he’s back and she’s so tempted to see him again. But two decades have passed and they are both married with children.
And the last thing a celebrity reporter like her needs is the world finding out about her past relationship with a rock star. Especially as Kellie’s husband doesn’t even know she once dated AJ Dangerfield, lead singer of legendary band Danger Game. And she has no intention of him finding out. EVER.
As Kellie deals with a demanding boss, a bullied son, an infuriating mother-in-law and a best friend who won’t act her age, she finds herself playing a dangerous game. What will happen if her two worlds collide? And is it possible that first love never fades?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR